100 share stories at Old Timers gathering
MIDDLEBURY — Every May, people gather at the town hall in Middlebury to tell stories about what life used to be like here.
Around 100 people came to the 19th annual Old Timers meeting Tuesday to share and visit with friends they haven’t seen in awhile.
Lowell Miller shared about the Middlebury Fire Department. In 1937, the fire department bought a truck that is now owned by John Shoup. He still rides it in Middlebury’s parades. Many remembered that truck still being in use in the 1970s.
Jim Miller said when he started working with the fire department, he made sure to get to the fire station right away when the alarm sounded so he could find boots his size, as they were up for grabs. No one had their own gear.
Many remembered the hotel that used to be on the site of the former fire station and town hall, where Miller’s Insurance is now. Two railroad lines came through Middlebury, and they brought salesmen and others who stayed in the hotel.
Many remembered banquets and wedding receptions held there. Alta Miller said that her family has the iron steps that were used to get in and out of stagecoaches.
Others shared that S.R. 13 was paved in 1925. Sometime between 1964 and 1972, the traffic light was put in at the main intersection downtown and street signs were added. Up until that time, the town didn’t have street signs and the houses didn’t have numbers.
“The Old Timers meeting is one of the more unique things our town does,” said town manager Mark Salee.
The event is sponsored by the Middlebury Community Historical Society and was started by Vernon Miller of Middlebury to preserve the collective memories of Middlebury residents. The sessions are videotaped, and copies are available at the Middlebury Community Library or the Middlebury Community Historical Museum.